Ather plots affordable electric scooter

by Firoze Irani, Autocar India 28 May 2019


It was around a year ago that Ather Energy told Autocar India it’s planning two new scooters by 2021. Sources now tell us that one of these scooters will be a more affordable product that is coming soon, with a price that’s much closer to 125cc ICE-powered scooters.

Ather has an ambitious target of achieving one lakh units by the end of the third year, or by June 2021. To achieve this, the company would need a vast increase in production capacity, entry into more markets and, most importantly, a more affordable, high-volume product. At present, the company’s most affordable scooter (after the Ather 340 was temporarily discontinued) is the 450 which costs Rs 1.23 lakh, making it almost twice as expensive as the big 125cc sellers.

The mass-market scooter the company is working on at present is expected to have lower usage of premium materials like aluminium. One can expect a shift to more affordable alternative materials, like steel and cast-iron, for components like the grab handle, mirror stalks and side stand. We could also see Ather reduce the features, with a simpler screen on this model.  As for the powertrain, the company has said that it will not witness a blatant dilution in performance or range.

The current crop of 125cc scooters, range between Rs 55,080 (Hero Destini 125) and Rs 72,920 (Aprilia SR 125). However, the most popular 125cc models like the Honda Activa 125 and TVS Ntorq 125 sit somewhere in between. As for the Ather, it’ll most likely be at the higher end and quite possibly even more than the SR 125 because battery tech is still expensive.

At the launch of the scooter in June 2018, Ather revealed to us that they were also working on an electric motorcycle. This project is still very much alive at an R&D level, but it is not the company's top priority. For now, the big focus is on expanding to other cities, and of course, the more cost effective scooter you just read about. As for the electric motorcycle, we don't expect it to go on sale before 2021.

All prices, ex-showroom, Delhi.

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